Dana White explains how metrics factor into UFC matchmaking strategy

The UFC’s matchmaking process is a closely guarded secret, but promotion president Dana White revealed that the official rankings are far from the deciding factor when putting fights together on the sport’s biggest stage.

Speaking to Laura Sanko during an online chat with ESPN+ subscribers Tuesday, White explained that, while rankings are definitely considered, fan interest and engagement are also essential to making fights.

“Obviously the rankings are very important,” White said. “We always try to stay with the rankings, and it’s always awesome when you have the champion vs. the No. 1, or No. 1 vs. No. 2. But you’ve seen many times when there’s a fight people want to see, we’ll make it.”

White went on to discuss how the UFC keeps a close eye on statistics and the numbers that each fighter pulls in, which helps decide the types of fights fans want to see.

“We know every number and every little detail that goes into making a fight like that,” White said. “All the kids that came off the Contender Series, I know how many people watched their fights on the Contender Series, and it keeps updating because it stays in the system.”

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